MIAMI (CBSMiami) – With the heart of summer right around the corner, it’s time for parents to start thinking about their children’s safety around water.
Florida leads the nation when it comes to children younger than 15 who drown. Drowning is also the leading cause of death among children aged 1–4 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Government data also show that African-American and Hispanic children between the ages of 5 and 14 are at a higher risk of drowning.
To raise awareness, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission launched a pool safety campaign at an event in Washington D.C. on Wednesday.
“As we head into summer and families across the country are getting ready to take their kids to the pool, we must remind everyone how important it is to keep a careful watch on our children as they swim and ensure that their pools and spas have proper safety equipment,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz told the gathering. “Working together, we can improve the safety of all pools and spas by increasing the use of layers of protection and promoting uninterrupted supervision to prevent child drowning and entrapment. With government programs like the CPSC’s Pool Safety, people can learn simple steps to take to save lives.”
CPSC Chairwoman Inez Tenenbaum said parents should never leave children unattended around the pool area, keep a cell phone handy and make sure their children can swim.
“Swimming is a great sport. People of Florida love to swim, so if swimming lessons are available we can reduce the number of drownings in Florida,” said Tannenbaum.
Parents are urged to contact the YMCA at YMCAMiami.org to find out more information on swimming programs in their area.